U.S. Soccer announces June friendlies; Concacaf confirms U.S. to host WWC qualifiers
U.S. hosts China this June in Utah and Cleveland, plus WWC qualifiers in October
The U.S. women's national team will head to Rio Tinto this June for a friendly against China. (Photo: Utah Royals FC)
The U.S. women's national team will head to Rio Tinto this June for a friendly against China. (Photo: Utah Royals FC)

There are two more friendlies on tap for the U.S. women’s national team in 2018. U.S. Soccer announced on Friday that they will host China for a two-game series in June.

First up, the U.S. will head to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Thursday, June 7 at 9 p.m. ET, with the game broadcast on FS1. Then on Tuesday, June 12, they’ll play at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland at 7 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will have Tuesday night’s broadcast.

This will be the first time for the U.S. national team at Rio Tinto since the establishment of Utah Royals FC this past offseason.

Tickets for the match in Utah will go on sale on April 17, and tickets for the Cleveland match will go on sale on March 30.

In the latest FIFA women’s rankings, released on March 23, China slid one place to 17th in the world. The United States kept their firm grip on the number one ranking thanks to taking home the trophy at SheBelieves Cup this month.

“Obviously, there’s a great history between the countries and we always enjoy the matches against China,” head coach Jill Ellis said in the official release. “They bring a level of technical skill and tactical savvy that challenges us, which is what we need as we continue to prepare for World Cup qualifying in the fall.”

And speaking of World Cup qualifying, there was also news on that front on Friday. Concacaf confirmed that the United States will host the 2018 Women’s Championship this October. The tournament, which runs October 4-17, acts as the Confederation’s qualification tournament for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. Three teams directly qualify, and the fourth-place finisher heads to a intercontinental playoff game.

While we still have to wait for more details on the tournament, the United States, Canada and Mexico are all already assured spots for qualifiers. The remaining five spots will be determined by the results of the 2018 Concacaf Caribbean Women’s Qualifier and 2018 Concacaf Central America Women’s Qualifier.

“As hosts of the Concacaf Women’s Championship, we’re thrilled to welcome top national women’s teams from our region as they strive to secure a spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said in Concacaf’s announcement. “The women’s game continues to grow across our region, and this event provides another opportunity for these athletes to compete at the very highest level. We’re confident that in cooperation with Concacaf, we will stage an exciting tournament for both the fans and the teams.”

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